Easy Essays – Teachers, Traders, and Tricksters

By Peter Maurin

No Recourse

Politicians used to say:
“We make prosperity
through our wise policies.”
Business men used to say:
“We make prosperity
through our private enterprise.”
The workers did not seem
to have anything to do
about the matter.
They were either
put to work
or thrown out
of employment.
And when unemployment came
the workers had no recourse
against the professed
makers of prosperity–
politicians
and business men.

Politics Is Politics

A politician is an artist in the art
of following the wind
of public opinion.
He who follows the wind
of public opinion
does not follow
his own judgment.
And he who does not follow
his own judgment
cannot lead people
out of the beaten path.
He is like the
the tail end of the dog
trying to lead the head.
When people stand back
of politicians
and politicians
stand back of the people,
people and politicians
go around in a circle
and get nowhere.

Maker of Deals

A business man
is a maker of deals.
He wants to close
a profitable deal
in the shortest possible time.
To close a profitable deal
in the shortest possible time
he tells you
what a good bargain
you are getting.
And while he tells you
what a good bargain
you are getting
he is always thinking
what a good bargain
he is getting.
He appeals
to the selfishness in you
to satisfy
the selfishness in him.

Business Is Selfishness

Because everybody
is naturally selfish
business men say
that business
must be based
on selfishness.
But when business
is based on selfishness
everybody is busy
becoming more selfish.
And when everybody is busy
becoming more selfish
we have classes and clashes.

Teaching Subjects

Our business managers
don’t know how to manage
the things they try to manage
because they don’t understand
the things they try to manage.
So they turn to college professors
in the hope of understanding
the things they try to manage.
But college professors
do not profess anything;
they only teach subjects.
As teachers of subjects
college professors
may enable people
to master subjects.
But mastering subjects
has never enabled anyone
to master situations.

Specialization

A few years ago,
I asked a college professor
to give me
the formulation
of those universal concepts
embodied
in the universal message
of universal universities
that will enable
the common man
to create
a universal economy.
And I was told
by the college professor:
“That is not my subject.”
Colleges and universities
give to the students
plenty of facts
but very little understanding.
They turn out specialists
knowing more and more
about less and less.

Christianity Untried

Chesterton says:
“The Christian ideal
has not been tried
and found wanting.
It has been found difficult
and left untried.”
Christianity has not been tried
because people thought
it was impractical.
And men have tried everything
except Christianity.
And everything
that men have tried
has failed.

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